Mexico’s Tourism Department Liked ‘Spectre’ So Much, They’re Copying the Día de Muertos Parade

Lead Photo: 'Spectre'
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Sometimes life imitates art. Like when the Mexican government pays millions of dollars to include an extravagant Día de Muertos sequence in the latest James Bond film, only to realize that all those tourists they attracted will be expecting to see something that doesn’t exist.

Of course, we’re talking about the controversial $14 million Mexico paid to turn the opening sequence of Spectre into an extended play tourism ad starring Daniel Craig. The result was a lavish but entirely fictional Día de Muertos parade whose production paralyzed Mexico City’s Centro Histórico for nearly a week.

In truth, the film’s dazzling display of calaveras, floats, and colonial-era Catrinas has nothing to do with Mexico City’s traditional festivities, which play out around colorfully-rendered altar displays and foods stands. That is, until the nation’s Secretary of Tourism proposed recreating the parade in order to save the city from marauding masses of disillusioned tourists.

And so a new tradition was born: the city formerly known as DF will have its first annual Día de Muertos parade this October 29th. Featuring props from the production of Spectre, the mega event will throw in some more authentic nods to Mexican history and culture, including a celebration of pre-Hispanic cultures and colonial-era traditions, along with a shoutout to the iconography of artist José Guadalupe Posada.

If everything goes according to plan, future generations may not even know that their city’s massive yearly parade was actually just copied from a James Bond flick.